Meeting Space Furnishing

When asked what types of furniture they are incorporating to help facilitate collaboration and flexibility, venue operators most frequently said:

1. Lounge furniture (couches, bean bags, soft-seating, pods, armchairs)

2. Variety of styles of tables and chairs, especially differing heights

“While space and furniture design will be evolving to meet these new cultural

3. Furniture that is easily movable (easy-to-carry furniture, furniture with wheels) These findings are the same as our 2018 survey of venue operators. Venues report an increase in providing furniture that allows for flexibility in movement and position (sitting versus standing) as it fosters fireside chat environment and opens viewing angles. Many venue operators attribute the increase in lounge furniture to the preferences of the new generations of meeting attendees: millennials and post-millennials. Because of their lower need for privacy than previous generations, millennials thrive in collaborative and comfortable environments. Just as offices have transformed to build what is most conducive to these younger generations’ productivity, so have meeting spaces. Millennials have shifted the meaning of professionalism towards a more relaxed culture for most of the Western world regardless of what generation one may fall into. As a result, details such as lounge spaces that evoke feelings of home help build trust and comfort and foster further collaboration and productivity. Respondents also noted that offering furniture that gives attendees the flexibility to sit or stand is also growing increasingly common with many spaces offering regular soft-seating coupled with high-boys in the back. This is another trend that operators attribute to millennials and their seemingly short attention spans.

preferences, venues and planners alike must still be aware of the needs of delegates and guests with disabilities. Spaces, seating options, signage and flow should allow for all participants to be able to access and use the space equally.”

— Tracy Stuckrath from thrive! meetings and events


IACConline.org & IACCmeetings.com

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